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Other Safety Management Considerations

Other Safety Management Considerations

Employers’ Liability Insurance


If the Group/District/County employs anyone they are required to insure against bodily injury or disease sustained by their employees. Display the certificate of insurance at the premises.

Public Liability Insurance

The Scout Association arranges a Legal Liability Policy for claims by third parties, alleging legal liability arising out of loss, injury or damage occurring during any authorised Scout activity. Contact Unity Insurance Services for additional advice. Telephone 0345 040 7703.

Occupiers’ Liability Acts 1957 & 1984 (& equivalent legislation in Scotland)

The occupier of premises owes a ‘common duty of care’ to their visitors, which includes trespassers. A ‘common duty of care’ means to take such care as is reasonable in the circumstance - a bit like for a risk assessment. The Act gives some guidance as to what is reasonable.

As an example the occupier must be prepared for children to be less careful than adults so a bush with poisonous berries like yew may have to be fenced off, the berries removed or remove the bush completely.

In order to minimize the risk of claims for personal injuries any anti-trespasser measures must be obvious and not be concealed. E.g. if barbed wire on a fence was selected as a deterrent it must be visible to potential intruder. Any local planning restrictions on the height of the fence should be followed.

You will need to ensure that your premises is in a suitable condition for any use intended. Ensure other users are aware of any safety systems and checking processes in place. Why not keep a log book for all to refer to and include in it the necessary contacts in the event of emergencies. (e.g. Chairman, plumber, electrician…)

Don’t forget to stress to other users the need for them to carry out risk assessment for activities which they carry out.


Injuries & Incidents / First Aid

All injuries and incidents must be recorded in accordance with POR Chapter 7 and Unity Insurance Services informed of the details as soon as possible. An investigation must be held as soon as possible to identify the underlying cause of the incident followed by updating of the risk assessment if necessary with a note of why the revision was required. In any accident investigation process the pertinent question to ask is ‘what could have happened’. Do not assume that the outcome would be exactly the same the next time. An adequate first aid box, together with an accident/incident book must be kept on the premises and  a trained first-aider available when the premises are in use. Additional guidance is available in Safety Practical Tips.

RIDDOR Reporting

You may need to report an accident to the HSE under RIDDOR (Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations) if you have paid staff at your Scout location. Take time to check this out and report where required. Even as volunteers in Scouting we can sometimes be in
circumstances where the venue is deemed a workplace due to other, less obvious circumstances. RIDDOR – where a premises is a place of work incidents may need to be reported to the HSE, lists of what and how to report can be found on the HSE website. You would be considered a place of work if you meet the following criteria:

  • employees are directly employed and managed by the premises owner (for example a Scout Group who own their own hall and employ a cleaner or a campsite who employ freelance instructors during their busy season)

  • contractors who are employed regularly by the premises owner (for example a Scout Campsite who employ a contractor to clean their buildings once a week or once a month)

  • with the above examples, any incidents which occur on the property regardless of who is involved (it doesn't need to be involving the employee) which meet the reporting criteria will need to be RIDDOR reported.

Where a one off contractor is used for a specific piece of work they would be required to report any incidents to the HSE themselves but the premises would not be considered to be a place of work.

Reporting of defects

Anybody, be it a volunteer, member of the public or paid employee has a duty to tell the person in charge of any defect or something that is unsafe so that appropriate action can be taken.

Emergency Checklist

It is a good idea to have a checklist list of what to do in a emergency, such as a burst water pipe, and who is readily available to deal with this and similar emergencies.

Second hand Equipment

Be wary of this. Check it is fit for purpose and don’t be afraid to refuse the kind offer if you are unsure about its safety. The two real incidents below indicate what can go wrong:

a) Petrol pressure lantern

A Scout group acquired a petrol driven pressure lantern from items supplied for a jumble sale. Later, this was used at camp but because it had not been properly maintained incomplete combustion was occurring and poisonous carbon monoxide gas was being released. The first the Group knew that the lamp was faulty was when an unconscious Scout was found inside a tent.

b) Second hand furniture

A Scout group held a jumble sale and retained a donated sofa for use at their HQ. Later, whilst somebody was ‘bouncing’ on it, a metal spring broke, came through the fabric and caused a puncture injury. Any second hand electrical equipment should either be declined or have it tested by a competent person before being used.

Useful Contacts

Safety Practical Tips

Find out more